A cost and production analysis of hospital dental care programs.
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A cost and production analysis of hospital dental care programs.

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      To provide hospital dental programs with useful information about the expansion of dental services and the identification of pertinent financial information, a production function and cost function analysis was performed. Results showed that hospital ownership (public or private) and size of the dental clinics were associated with the cost of providing dental services and the volume of services provided. Among 23 hospitals studied, private hospitals had a much lower cost per visit, had more paid attending dentist staff, paid their resident dentists less, and had significantly more billings paid by Medicaid and by patients than public hospitals. When stratified by ownership and size, these basic differences were accentuated for the small clinics. Except for primarily the Medicaid and self-pay billings, the characteristics of large public and private hospital dental clinics were extremely similar. Multiple regression analysis found that a decrease in cost per visit was associated with more visits to dentists and more to hygienists. Production of dental services could be increased by increasing the number of attending dentists, hygienists, and residents. Preliminary econometric analysis reveals that the optimal mix of attending dentists to resident dentists should be approximately 1.8 full-time equivalent (FTE) resident for every 1 attending FTE dentist to produce the most dental services at the lowest cost.
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